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CCTV image of a pickpocket  (Source: Evening Standard)
The use of CCTVs continues to be a hot political debate in the U.K.

The city of London has more than 10,000 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras deployed around the city, but the use of the controversial technology does not help solve crime, according to several local politicians.

All cameras installed in London cost taxpayers an estimated £200 million -- approximately $400M USD -- with politicians arguing the city has to re-evaluate the way they are used.  According to research provided by the British Liberal Democrats political party, the city districts with the most CCTV cameras also have the worst rates of solved crimes.

"Our figures show that there is no link between a high number of CCTV cameras and a better crime clear-up rate," said Dee Doocey, Liberal Democrats spokesperson.  "Boroughs with thousands of CCTV cameras are no better at doing so than those which have a few dozen."

Numbers provided by Doocey indicate only one in five crimes are solved in all London boroughs.

London's Scotland Yard is implementing several new procedures to try to improve the effectiveness of the 10,000 CCTVs in place in all 32 London boroughs.  

"Although CCTV has its place, it is not the only solution in preventing or detecting crime."

The United Kingdom currently leads the rest of Europe in number of CCTVs in use, with more than one million already in use.  The technology has drawn a lot of criticism from some politicians and privacy advocates in the U.K.

A quick Google News search for "CCTV" will indicate a number of British news stories that show how CCTV evidence is being used in criminal cases against suspects.  For example, CCTV several school children were caught brandishing an AK-47 on a train station platform.  The CCTV cameras also helped police identify London tube-train bombing suspects after the July 7, 2005 attack.




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You guys scare me
By jmunjr on 9/24/2007 5:46:47 PM , Rating: 3
Anyone who thinks surveillance by the government is a good thing is clear evidence that there have been mechanisms in place over the past 100 years or so to subvert the populous into accepting that the government should dictate how we run our lives.

It is very disconcerting to read how many people expect and insist that these cameras be put up everywhere for the sake of our security. What you don't realize is these cameras, among many other things, will be the downfall of the power of the people, and will return us to the days of serfdom...

Laugh if you want to, but the sheer ignorance of some of you leaves no doubt that we are well on our way to such a change. It may take 50, 100, or 200 years, but it will happen.

But you don't care so long as you have your iPods, sports cars, MTV, and cocktails on the weekends... you'll be dead before it all comes down right?




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